For My Home 11-01-12

The blogs I visit regularly help inspire not only my art but my sense of style, the things I eat, they way I live and the way I decorate. When I first furnished our space I would choose things based on reaction and instinct or comfort, not really paying much attention to what everything would look like together in one room or how I could achieve harmony with it. I’m not about looking into the past and dwelling on things, but if I had another crack at it now there’s a lot I’d do differently. (Is there anything like What Not To Wear, but for interior decorating?) For example, I love my big leather sofa but it’s too big for the room and two smaller pieces might’ve been a better choice.

In this column I’ll discuss what I’d like to furnish my space with, current and future, and why I’d pick them, ranging from specific items on pinterest and etsy to more conceptual items or ideas from other bloggers and retailers. Buying for the home as spur-of-the-moment thing can lead to clutter which I’ve been guilty of in the past, and since I’ve vowed to purge the junk from my home this year, I will do my best to justify each item I post as well as describe what kind of space I think it’d be most successful in.

Hand Painted Ceramic Tea Set

Hand Painted Ceramic Tea Set (via etsy)

This tea set is beautiful! I’d like to start incorporating more and more hand-made goods into my life and this would be a great start since I’m an avid tea drinker. To be honest, I’m not really attached to the design here and would like something a bit more colorful, perhaps some cherry blossoms or roses, but the idea is there. Maybe the answer to this is to look for a simple tea set that I could paint myself? This design is simple and would go well in almost any kitchen or living room. If I was to set a table particularly for this set I would use some cream-colored place mats and light cool brown napkins, maybe with chocolate biscuits to complement the tea. There is a lot that could be done with this set since it’s fairly neutral.

Large Aqua Stoneware Bowl

Large Aqua Stoneware Bowl (via Etsy)

This is an item I’d have a hard time placing. It’s gorgeous; I love the blue-aqua-cream inside of the bowl but I’m at a bit of a loss as to where I’d put it and what I’d do with it. I suppose it could be placed by the front door to collect keys but I’d be a little weary of scratching the inside. It could also be used to serve some food (appetizers or fruit perhaps?) or maybe house some potpourri. It would really pop in a room of muted greys or blues but would also work with whites and creams.

Greek Key Pillows

Greek Key Pillows (via Decorista)

I’d love to have some more throw pillows for the living room and bedroom. They’re great for curling up against or for creating make-shift seats with and they’re a great way to spice up any space! These in particular would work well with the greek color theme in my living room. I’ve got large golden curtains over a deep red wall (coupled with two cream-colored walls) to give a warmth to our space and elongate the room a bit. On our rich red-brown leather couch these would be eye-catching for sure.

Union Jack Dresser

Union Jack Dresser (via Apartment Therapy)

I won’t lie; this awesome union jack dresser doesn’t go with anything in my bedroom right now… but I love it enough that I’d change my bedroom around to accommodate it! Our current bedroom is a little blah as we got stuck with some large furniture that I’m not to fond of, but I’m looking to get rid of the biggest piece (a huge armoire) in the coming months and this could set right where that is. For a piece like this, rather than paint the walls and go with a bold color scheme I’d step things down and keep the walls neutral. I picture a bedroom that by itself is very simple but highlights art on the walls and accessories, mementos and photos. I could definitely see cashing in on some “keep calm” merchandise here as well.

Happy hump day and I’ll catch you at the end of the week!

A Cool New Look at an old Friend

Though it wasn’t the first anime I watched (that would be Samurai Pizza Cats if I remember correctly), Sailor Moon was one of the most influential cartoons for me growing up. I will always remember seeing it for the first time and thinking how different it was compared to the other cartoons I watched. The art style was more realistic than the cartoony/warped thing that Nickelodeon had going on at the time. It was so… well… pretty! It also focused on girls that were more than shopping and gossiping, girls that were intelligent and courageous.

It changed the way I looked at television & comics and drastically changed my art-style. I’d been leafing through a lot of how-to-draw-comics type books and sketching what I saw from them, going through the exercises they provided. What I drew felt very stiff and flat. When I started drawing more in an anime style to mimic Sailor Moon I was suddenly drawing flowing figures with big eyes and cute outfits. I’ll admit that during this time muscle structure and figure proportion were pretty much thrown out the window, but I had so much fun with it! It provided a much-needed change in direction and gave me a shot-in-the-arm I needed to really get going with art.

Because it inspired me to ramp up on the drawing and develop my own characters and stories, Sailor Moon (even the bastardized american dubbed version, but that’s an argument for another day) will always have a special place in my heart. So, seeing Abraham Cruz’s rendition of the Sailor Moon characters on my feed this afternoon brought a smile to my face. I especially like Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter:

Sailor Moon by Abraham Cruz

Sailor Moon by Abraham Cruz (via Trend Land)

Sailor Jupiter by Abraham Cruz

Sailor Jupiter by Abraham Cruz (via Trend Land)

Anime and Manga get a lot of hate in the fine art world, probably because many aspiring artists draw those styles and nothing else, neglecting any kind of formal study. For me studying from life and most recently, my figure drawing classes, makes me appreciate the beauty in anime and manga even more. (For the record, the anime & manga I refer to is not Pokemon, or Digimon, or Yugio, or pretty much any anime associated with a card game. Try Death Note or Full Metal Alchemist for some really interesting stuff.)

Alright, back to real life where there aren’t any beautiful transformation sequences and my cats don’t talk to me.

Opinion Piece: Samsung SM’ART Gallery Panels

I was scrolling through my news feeds and enjoying some tea a few mornings ago when I came across this article (courtesy of Chip Chick) on Samsung’s new “SM’ART Gallery Panels”. From the article:

“Samsung has teamed up with Planar to develop this new display technology which they have actually been working on, for as far back as five years. The two display manufacturers have been working together to develop panels that are much higher in resolution than your standard television display, and that are able to reproduce the artists original colors and vision – down to even the texture of the display. We got a hands-on with two of the prototype models and the visuals on these SM’ART Gallery Panels are colorful and sharp. The prototypes include a 21.9″ x 33.9″ tall display with a 1:1.5 aspect ratio, and a 48″ x 27″ display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The displays will not only be cutting edge, but they will also be green devices that are able to turn on and off by themselves, and they will come with built in motion and proximity sensors, along with ambient light sensors.

Samsung has big plans for these new panels and believes that a whole new category of products will be developed from them. To that effect, they are already working with artists and licensing companies with the ultimate goal of creating a cloud-based service where buyers can easily browse and purchase fine art, right from their SM’ART panels…

…In the future will fine art galleries use Samsung SM’ART Gallery Panels instead of canvas? We think that this is very likely the case. After all, it’s a natural evolution that was bound to happen sooner or later.”

Samsung SM'ART Gallery Panels

(image via Chip Chick)

Normally new technology brings out the geek in me; by day I work in a technical support position so keeping up to date with new gadgets is part of my job. In an industry that’s always changing this can be a lot of work but there are tons of new things on the horizon that I’m excited about (Wacom’s new 24″ Cintiq, for example). However, I’m extremely sceptical of these panels. To suggest that they’d replace the actual canvas/material in a piece of art, in a gallery, is ridiculous.

Artists are always looking for new and exciting mediums and certainly digital artists are no different. But there is no comparison between seeing a piece of art on a traditional medium such as canvas or paper on your computer screen versus seeing it up close in a museum, or on a level where you can actually touch it. Many people scoff at this, especially regarding abstract art, but after having taken my abstract class during the summer I discovered that what my camera was showing me did not do justice to the colors and complexity of what was on my canvas. Especially in pieces where there are a lot of contrasting colors, I’ve really had to mess around with them in GIMP/Photoshop to bring them closer to their real-life versions and they’re still not quite right. This doesn’t even take into consideration the texture on a piece or the size of it. Large-scale pieces of art are meant to be viewed that way, not squished onto a computer screen. The dynamics of the piece are lost.

Even if Samsung can get high definition resolutions out of these monitors, how will they mimic the texture in a painting? Impasto paintings would be instantly flattened. When I go to a gallery to examine paintings I do everything I can to really take them in. Examining the texture allows me to see the brush strokes used and sometimes allows me to put myself in the artist’s shoes. In bigger paintings especially, every stroke unlocks a little piece of the painting for me, makes me understand it a little more.

In short, no, I don’t believe these panels will ever replace traditional media and I could not see how anyone would want to buy one in place of a genuine art piece. For digital artists though, these panels may help them better stand out in galleries alongside the renaissance masters.

Sickness, chills, coding…

The last few weeks have been a sort of blur; I’ve been sick with a cold that eventually found it’s way into my sinuses. I’ve been trying to sleep and recover the best that I can, and I think I may finally be making some headway.

Being sick put a bit of a damper on the projects I’ve been working on, but I’ve still managed to get a few things accomplished. Recently I started looking into making synthetic dreadlocks. I’ve been trying to figure out something new to do with my hair, but I’m limited in colors/styles since I work in a government institution and need to keep the allusion of looking “professional”. 😉 The tutorial on how to make synthetic dreads popped up on my RSS feed and that was that. I ordered some materials online and waited patiently for them to arrive.
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I finally received the package last night and began rattling/backcombing/steaming dreads. I tried tying them into my hair with elastics last night but it didn’t look all that great and it was really pulling my hair. This morning I took them out and started to partially braid them in, yielding these not-bad results:
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My hair does a pretty good job of covering them up, but you can see them peaking out hear and there. So far I’ve been using the “single-loop” method of making them where you leave a loop at the top, but I think I’ll try making some double ended dreads. The double-ended ones look easier to put in for those of us with longer hair.

Onto less vain matters, before I became really sick with my cold I was given the opportunity to get some hosting space. A good friend and former co-worker graciously agreed to host me, so here I am on modularcreativity.net! I already had the domain name from last year when I tried to set up my own webserver (I was thwarted when I found out my ISP doesn’t allow people to host out of their own homes). Now that I have my own space, I can work on making a custom layout for this blog.

I chose the domain name “modularcreativity.net” because it represents two things that I am passionate about: technology and art. My hope is to eventually do both of those things together for a living. Right now I’m brushing up on the “technology” side by learning PHP, mySQL, CSS, HTML, Javascript and whatever else I need to use to accomplish my goals. Once I have a good grasp of these languages I believe that I can use them in conjunction with art for creating websites, layouts, etc. I feel I’m really lacking on the design side since I’ve never really had any formal training, but for now I’m focusing on the programming aspect of my goal.

Between keeping up with the coding at work and trying to rest at home, I haven’t done anything extremely artistic, but I’m confident that it will come in time. For now, lunch and possibly some CSS fun. 8)

Beginnings

Ever since I can remember, I have been artistic, felt expressive. My mother claims that I was singing before I could talk and I do not remember a time where I wasn’t drawing on something in some way.

The past few years have been different, though. I have become caught up in the routine of everyday life; art and music have taken a back seat while I have ploughed through school and worked my way into a position that would allow me to be comfortable, hopefully comfortable enough to continue to support my hobbies. Unfortunately, I feel I have put too much focus into the “work” part, leaving my creativity to wither.

I have started this blog in an attempt to cure this dry spell. This site will be a hub to all of my art, musical experimentations and other doings. With any luck, it will inspire me to keep working at the things that I love and to be able to combine them with my work in IT.

Thus ends my first post. Will I be able to follow through with this? I hope so. I miss art.